Oct 312012
 

I especially like the people asking, specifically:  “should President Obama postpone Election Day?”  Those are folks who are really, really comfortable with the tremendous level of unconstitutional power President Obama has seized, and the question makes me shudder for the future of our country.  Does the phrase “checks and balances” even occur in the average eighth-grade civics class anymore?

We voted during the Civil War.  We’re going to vote through this, breathless statist laments notwithstanding.

 Posted by at 7:19 am
Oct 302012
 

I’ve not had much to say about Benghazi. Though the loss of American life is shameful, it’s only another shame, and has seemed as deflectable as any of the others this administration has committed under the love and protection of a ceaselessly sycophantic media machine.

I think it was metastasizing to some degree already, but Obama suddenly changed his story on Friday (regarding any actions or orders he may or may not have taken or given), and that’s helped it along considerably. John O’Sullivan has an interesting blog post up today, looking at similarities between how Libyagate is unfolding and what’s happened with other high-profile scandals.

(And I’m guessing that’s where this is heading. It’s too persistent, with too much propensity to become more complex, not less.)

 Posted by at 10:27 am
Oct 282012
 

I haven’t written about the presidential election much.

I’m not reading about it any less than I ever have, and I’m more concerned about it than I’ve been about any election in my lifetime.  I’m not writing about it because I don’t think it will make any difference.

Whether real or imagined, last time I took seriously whatever ability I had to influence opinion.  Who’s listening this time around?  I mean, I know we’re all chasing “independent voters” and “undecided”s and so forth, and I think the independent question is largely settled (Romney by double digits), but who the hell is undecided right now?  Are those folks really out there, or just a phantasm?  If they’re real, then I can’t construct a reason for them to be undecided nine days out that gives me any respect for them whatsoever, so how could I possibly relate to them?

I think this time, I’m mostly amazed and appalled at the effectiveness of Obama’s class warfare trope.  That’s what I think is the main factor in this race being competitive, rather than Romney leading by 8 or 10 points.  I don’t know how else you can look at the economy, or foreign policy, or anything else and come away supporting this president.

But if I can make you believe The Man’s sticking it to you—well, that’s pretty unassailable.  If you’re susceptible to that, there’s a good chance you’re swallowing it.

Lots of things have broken Romney’s way, starting with the first debate.  I’m hoping the infamous “silent majority” will put him over the top.  I haven’t answered the phone when I’ve seen or suspected it’s a poll or survey.  I’m hoping there are a lot of me—Republican votes not reflected in any poll anywhere or anytime this election season—to close whatever gaps may exist in Ohio, Nevada, etc. a week from the day after tomorrow.

 Posted by at 5:18 pm
Oct 262012
 

Yes, I just posted a restaurant review two days ago.  No, BoWilliams.com is not turning into a restaurant review blog.  (I suggest my friend Amanda’s excellent The Dining Dragon for that.)

I have written another one so soon because Lea and I left the house this morning just knowing we were going to lunch, but not knowing where.  We were driving toward Providence, when Lea looked north to the Kroger shopping center at 72 and Jeff and said “what’s new in there we haven’t tried?”  Spotted Four Leaves Asian Restaurant with an Open sign, and it got the nod just that quickly.  When we went in, we found out they had literally just opened (as in less than half an hour earlier, they opened their doors to the public for the first time).

So, have to do a review, right?  Seems reasonable to question whether a restaurant’s true maiden voyage will be representative, but it’ll certainly be topical.

The trend toward places identifying as “Asian restaurants” strikes me as a bit unfortunate, and maybe even vaguely “ugly American.”  There are large differences between the various cuisines typically found under such an umbrella.  It doesn’t really make any more sense than a place calling itself a “European restaurant,” with schnitzel, ravioli, and haggis on the menu.  But, it is what it is, and this is a fine example.

Four Leaves is a full-service restaurant with a menu featuring Chinese, Thai, and Japanese selections, including sushi.  The decor is impressively sumptuous.  Call it Far Eastern modern, with excellent use of space and novel lighting.  Someone or a group of someones spent a lot of time and effort designing the interior.  Booths, tables, and a bar are available.  It’s luxurious enough to be a good date night place, particularly when they get their liquor license (expected November 1).

Lea and I each decided to have a lunch special.  She chose the kung pao chicken with white rice; I, the General Tso’s chicken with brown.  We both selected hot and sour soup, which arrived promptly.

The soup, served steaming, was tasty and appealingly spicy.  It was on the thinner side, but still within tolerance, I’d say.  A distinguishing touch is that it was served not with a bowl of crunchers, but with two small rolls and two dishes of a mildly sweet sauce that reminded me of the “yum yum” sauce at a teppanyaki place.

Our entrees followed about ten minutes later.  Presentation was lovely, with rice delivered in separate dishes.

My General Tso’s chicken was served with freshly steamed broccoli florets, and chopped Chinese hot peppers that were cooked just enough to be tender.  (Most places botch this detail.)  Lea’s kung pao was finer, sacrificing some aesthetic punch for practicality.

Flavors were fresh.  Seasoning was consistent, and neither excessive nor wanting in its application.  Lea and I both enjoyed our lunch.

Now I realize we’re not exactly out on a culinary limb here.  This is mainstream American Chinese food, and any crimes committed with such tend to be consistent.  One big one is excessive oil, and I’m pleased to report that neither of these dishes exhibited the problem.  We left satiated, but not with that unpleasant, weighted down feeling.

Our server was attentive, but not hovering.  The manager came and personally welcomed us, and told us he’d love to have us back.  For our two lunch specials, two iced teas, and 20% for our server, our bill was $24.

Four Leaves is close enough to Research Park, and the service speedy enough, to make it a reasonable lunch destination.  As I said earlier, it looks to be promising for date night as well.

Call my rating provisional, given that we visited on the very first day they were open.  I’ll seek to confirm it in another month or so, perhaps trying a different area of the menu, and follow up this post with appropriate comment.

8/10

(Note:  Please also read my follow-up review of this restaurant.)

 Posted by at 3:29 pm
Oct 252012
 
  • Windows 8 Day is here.  The $40 upgrade is eminently affordable, but I’m not sure I want it on my primary machine, and I doubt either of my others will run it well.  So I rather doubt it will come to live with me in the next few days.
  • I’m past ready for Windows Phone 7.8, though.
  • Adam West wrote in Back to the Batcave that the “Batman!” in the TV theme was horns, not voices.  I thought that was so cool.  Guess what?  It’s not true.  It is voices.
  • I had my first Doritos Locos Taco Supreme this week.  That’s the Taco Bell taco with a Nacho Cheese Dorito shell.  It was okay.  Same calorie count as the standard shell, but wow, was it salty.
  • When Alabama and Mississippi State meet Saturday night, they will both be undefeated.  Has that ever happened before?
  • Mizzou, I never took your jawing seriously because I knew you didn’t realize what you were getting into.  You have a good shot at your first SEC victory this weekend, and I wish you well.
  • A 41-mile section of Texas Highway 130 now has a speed limit of 85 miles per hour.  If my math is correct, that means you could cover that distance legally in just under 29 minutes.  That’s awesome.  Bring on tiered driver’s licenses and truly reasonable speeds on limited access highways nationwide.
  • I love that it looked so much like Yankees vs. Cardinals in the World Series, and now it’s not.  (Not that I’m paying attention.)
  • I’m seriously digging iHeartRadio.  Actual radio reception is poor at my desk, but now I can have any talk I want.  Wish I’d known about this sooner.
 Posted by at 9:00 pm

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